Coronary (Ischemic) Heart Disease

Coronary (Ischemic) Heart Disease

26/08/2022

Does your lifestyle contribute to risk of Your developing the coronary heart disease?

The coronary heart disease is one of the main causes of death worldwide. Studies show that approximately 126 million people suffer from the coronary heart disease all around the world, and its spread only increases. This disease is most prevalent in the countries of Eastern Europe. (1)

What is Coronary Heart Disease?

The coronary heart disease or ischemic heart disease is an acute or chronic ischemic lesion of myocardium, which is based on disturbances in the normal functioning of a heart, caused by changes in vessels of the heart (atherosclerosis). With accumulation of cholesterol deposits, the vessels of the heart narrow or completely clog, free flow of blood is disturbed, and supply of oxygen to the heart muscle decreases. It causes complaints of chest pain or a feeling of pressure and is called angina pectoris. The angina pectoris is the first most common manifestation of the coronary heart disease. A pain attack usually begins when the heart must work more than usual - during physical exertion (climbing stairs, carrying heavy loads), excitement, after a heavy meal. After the load is stopped, the pain goes away. The completely blocked heart vessel may lead to myocardial infarction or even cardiac arrest. It should be noted that if the pain appears suddenly, maybe without any physical exertion and does not go away within 30 minutes, You should consult a doctor.

What are Most Common Risk Factors?

Since the main cause of the angina pectoris is the atherosclerosis of the arteries of the heart, elimination of its causes and decrease of the risk factors play a key role in its prevention. Frequently, the atherosclerosis is caused by the unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy diet.

The risk of the atherosclerosis of arteries of the heart significantly increases with:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension);
  • high cholesterol (especially with high "bad" LDL cholesterol and low "good" HDL cholesterol);
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • when there is excess weight;
  • smoking and regular alcohol abuse;
  • diabetes mellitus.

If You have these risk factors, get a consultation from Your doctor!

What are Most Common Symptoms and Complaints?

The coronary heart disease may also be asymptomatic (without any symptoms), but when symptoms are present, the following complaints shall occur:

  • discomfort in chest (the angina pectoris), characterized by a feeling of heaviness, tightness, pressure, pain, burning, numbness, fullness, squeezing or dull pain. The discomfort may also spread to the left shoulder, arms, neck, back, or jaw, or be felt only in the chest;
  • suffocation;
  • feeling of weakness, fatigue;
  • nausea, dizziness.

What  Solutions are There?

  1. Lifestyle Change. It is recommended to quit smoking, control weight, control cholesterol and blood glucose levels, avoid stresses, refrain from excessive alcohol consumption, as well as eat a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity. Developing healthy lifestyle habits shall reduce the risk of future cardiovascular disease and mortality.
  2. Medicines Prescribed by Doctor. To reduce the symptoms of the coronary heart disease and slow progression of the disease, Your doctor may prescribe drugs for lowering Your cholesterol, controlling Your blood pressure, normalizing Your heart rate, and improving Your heart's metabolism. It is important to take Your medicine as prescribed by Your doctor.
  3. Invasive or Surgical Procedures.  If it does not help or the vessels are critically narrowed, a possibility of invasive or surgical manipulations shall be considered. It is possible to expand the arteries by placing a stent, but in more complex cases, surgery, the so-called coronary artery bypass grafting, shall be used.

Taking care of Your heart health will also have other benefits for Your overall health, such as helping to reduce Your risk of stroke and dementia!

References

1. Moien AB Khan, Muhammad Jawad Hashim,corresponding author Halla Mustafa, May Yousif Baniyas, Shaikha Khalid Buti Mohamad Al Suwaidi, Rana AlKatheeri, Fatmah Mohamed Khalfan Alblooshi, Meera Eisa Ali Hassan Almatrooshi, Mariam Eisa Hazeem Alzaabi. The National Center for Biotechnology. [Online] 23d July 2020. [Quoted: 3d August 2022.] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7384703/.

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